Tuesday, April 19

Meeting April 18th

Notes (highlighted in bold, "Access Hollywood"-style):

1. Constitution-- Stephanie researched what we needed to do with Earl Hall concerning becoming a recognized group. The main deal is drafting up a constitution that states the goals of the group along with giving it some structure. We debated between dividing up the work or buckling down one afternoon and writing it together. We decided to write together, tentatively scheduled for this Friday.

2. Waste Audit - Dining Services asked our help for a waste management campaign that will be going on in the Fall. Alice mentioned a waste audit she read about being done at Columbia in 1994, perhaps we could get the records for the Fall campaign. A few ideas for the campaign:
a. Weighing the food before and after: Involves two audits, one before education, one after. We would use the first weighing when educating, then the second to see the results of the campaign. Also would be able to compare waste now with waste in 1994.

b. Freshmen Fifteen: Since mainly first years use the cafeteria, another campaign strategy would be to have people be aware of reasonable proportions, how much is okay to take. Would be able to bring in nutritional groups to help out.

3. Tim's Yale De-briefing-- Tim is a lucky man. First, he gets a juicer from Brian (for free), then he gets to attend would sounded like a great conference. Few ideas from the conference.

a. Garden: This was a big topic at the meeting: could we have a garden here at Columbia? It's definitely a summer project, involving lots of research of existing urban community farms and the possibility of working it into the Manhattanville expansion. Also, we'd look for grants and foundations to help fund some of the work we'd need to do. David mentioned he has contacts at Added Value and Stonehouse Farms (that name is not right) which would be great to maybe arrange a trip to those farms to bring up interest in the project.

b. Luncheon with administrators: If we got together with lots of other environmental, nutritional groups, it would be great to plan a luncheon with administrators. We'd serve local food then present slides about the community farm idea, more possible local foods and other germane environmental stuff.

c. Roundtable discussions: Bringing similar groups together to talk about goals. Alice mentioned bringing in other angles, which would not only branch out the group, but also bring in fresh ideas. Tim also mentioned bringing in people from other schools (e.g. Sarah Lawrence, due to closeness) to show what we've done, wine and dine 'em.

4. Conglomeration- This, I think, was a main theme that came up during the meetings in many different forms. The first being our desire to meet up and have a certain alliance with groups around campus who are trying to do the same things we are. This way, we can mobilize so much easier, have more support and more people to work with and talk to. Visnja proposed making a list of groups similar to use and inviting them to a dinner where we could discuss the our groups and our goals and see how they intertwine.

Brian brought up another idea of consolidating the group itself. Instead of being mainly Food Sustainability, we could be simply the Sustainability Project and branch out into energy sustainability and other forms of alternative living for the campus.

Alice mentioned Mary Cleaver, a great caterer who is excited about the program going on at Columbia. As far as a contact for any planned Fall events, she seems to be a good person to know. She's affiliated with the Earth Institute?

Green Umbrella potluck dinner next Monday? Someone post comments if it's some other date.

That's it! It was a long meeting, very productive with a lot of great ideas, though. conglomeration is a big thing, so is the potential urban community garden. The waste audit is in the near future and we also should start thinking about events for the Fall. One idea is a Harvest Day Feast, with local food which will be much more abundant in Septemer/November than in late February...

Over and out...


Monday, April 18

Yale Open House

This Saturday, students involved with Yale's Sustainable Food Project were kind enough to host a Sustainability Open House. The day was incredibly productive - representatives from Sarah Lawrence, Dartmouth, Wesleyan, and Columbia were in attendance.

Yale has a very successful Sustainable Food Project - those of us visiting got a chance to tour (and harvest greens in!) their wonderful garden and enjoy a largely seasonal and sustainable (and very tasty) meal at Berkeley College Dining Hall. Most importantly, however, we were all able to share our own thoughts on incorporating sustainable guidelines and initiatives into our respective campuses.
Thanks to Yale and everyone who attended - I know I'm not the only one who was more than pleased with the value of the meeting.